Most thru-hikers lose weight on the trail. Some people lose ten or fifteen pounds, others lose thirty or forty. It happens, and not everyone has that much to lose. For a vegan hiker it’s important to be extra conscious of your calories. Most non-vegan hikers eat lots of super dense food like cheese or packaged meat. For vegans, it’s a bit harder to find those kinds of rich foods (except for peanut butter!).
One tablespoon of olive oil has over one hundred calories and thirteen grams of fat.
I had read about people carrying olive oil on the trail before I started, and was tempted enough to give it a try. I bought an eight ounce bottle (weight: one ounce) and filled it with olive oil. It was great! I added a healthy splash to every dinner. It added some nice flavor and a calorie boost. It definitely helped with flavor in the beginning of my hike when I was eating couscous and beans every night…
I found that almost every grocery store carried eight ounce bottles of olive oil, often a store brand that cost between two and three bucks. I would pour it into my bottle, which had a much more secure lid.
This is just one more little trick that helped me stay vegan, stay healthy, and power through a successful thru-hike.